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Jamie Bissonnette’s New Project Is Actually Three Projects in One

Following the dissolution of his 15-year partnership with Ken Oringer, Bissonnette will open a trio of restaurants and bars in Downtown Crossing

Chef Jamie Bissonnette, Toro NYC poses at the Cookies For Kid’s Hosts 3rd Annual Chefs For Kid’s Cancer Benefit at Metropolitan West on February 23, 2016 in New York City.
Chef Jamie Bissonnette at an NYC event in 2016.
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Six months ago, one of Boston’s most famous restaurant duos — chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer — called it quits on a 15-year business partnership that produced crowd-favorite restaurants like Toro in the South End and Little Donkey in Central Square. Oringer took over sole ownership of the pair’s four restaurants while Bissonnette walked away from the company altogether, hinting at upcoming solo projects.

Now, we know more about what to expect: Per a press release, Bissonnette has partnered with downtown restaurateurs Andy Cartin and Babak Bina to form a new restaurant group, BCB3 (an amalgamation of the trio’s last initials). Together, they plan to open a slew of restaurants and bars in Boston, and they are moving quickly.

In March, BCB3 is slated to open three — yep, three — new spots at 11 Temple Place in Downtown Crossing. There will be a modern Korean restaurant called Somaek, a “spirit-forward” listening bar dubbed Temple Records, and a subterranean sushi counter below the bar called Sushi @ Temple Place. Bissonnette is leading the kitchen at the sushi spot and Somaek, where he will serve Korean rice cakes, noodles, soups, and more. The menu is inspired by his Korean mother-in-law, who is credited as a consultant, according to the Boston Globe.

Three men pose for a photo over a restaurant table covered in plates and bowls after a meal.
From L to R: Babak Bina, Jamie Bissonnette, and Andy Cartin.

Cartin, an industry veteran with a background in hotel food and beverage management, is overseeing the drinks program at the listening bar, Temple Records. According to a rep for the group, the team likens it to “a Japanese cocktail lounge with a focus on interesting drinks (highballs and the like).” Diners can also expect “a pretty eccentric wine list” that highlights the team’s personal drinking preferences.

Everything will be housed at 11 Temple Place, near Tremont Street, in Downtown Crossing. It’s a similar setup to a group of three other restaurants and bars owned by Cartin and Bina — laid-back spot JM Curley, intimate steakhouse Bogie’s Place, and cocktail bar the Wig Shop — which are all connected in a space next door to where Somaek, Temple Records, and Sushi @ Temple Place will open.

More projects are in the works for later this year, according to the press release, although no details were released at this time.